The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952

THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LV JULY, 1951 No. 1
Zhe Jgistorical Develdopmet of the
e7as State raw System
E. T. MILLER
INTRODUCTION
T is chronicled that Rehoboam, king of Judah in the ninth
century B. c., sent Hadoram into Israel to collect tribute and
that the Israelites stoned him to death. In England the out-
breaks of the Peasants' Revolt of 138o and of Cade's Rebellion
in 1450 are attributed to tax levies. Schoolboys are familiar with
the role of the stamp taxes in the drama of the American Revo-
lution, but the average citizen is not so well acquainted with the
classic observation made by Benjamin Franklin that "we are
taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our
pride, and four times as much by our folly, and from these taxes
the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing abate-
ments."
Coming to more recent times, it is related that there is a super-
stition held by the natives of Malaya that the orangutan is really
human but that he remains speechless in order to avoid the
payment of taxes. As late as the fall of 1927 there occurred a
native uprising and a massacre of whites in Malaita Island of the
Solomon group while officials were engaged in collecting the
annual native head tax. When the tax collector appears off the
coast at Melanesia, another Pacific island, a tom-tom is beaten,
and at this warning the natives run to the woods and hide.
Modern man, however, takes a more intelligent approach to
taxation and his remedy for what he thinks are abuses is the
peaceful political one of the ballot. Unlike in ancient and
medieval times and in modern times among primitive peoples

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/. Accessed July 28, 2014.